The “literary-approval group” of Chula Book, one of the largest book distributors in Bangkok, opposed to selling the anthology book about the recent coup, entitled “The September 19th coup: a coup for a democratic regime under the constitutional monarchy.” This edited book collects social and political essays written by numerous scholars in Thailand.
Two questions to ponder (to myself)…
First issue is how “self-censorship” plays in this situation, particularly in institutionalized context. Chula Book is not just a chain of bookstores, but affiliated with academic institutions. However, Thammasat University Bookstore, another giant academic affiliated distributor, still sale this title. It is also interesting to see why such (collective) decision was made. Is it really for self-protection? commercial purpose? What element of context is crucial? How did they compare this case to another?
The official declined to say whether the group was pressured to ban the book.
“Please do not ask, I feel uneasy about answering,” the official said.
“It’s up to the puyai [superiors] whether they will reconsider the ban,” the official said.
The second point is why media pick this story to cover. Talking about selection of book to sell, I believe there have been thousands of disapproved titles by this bookstore. Why is this particular book highlighted? What is the actual message?
Anyway, excuse my ignorance. This is the first time I heard about this book.
[Source: The Nation]